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This Saturday’s easing Golden Rose favourite Prince Harada is still in Caulfield Cup 2013 calculations according to connections who paid the first acceptance fee for the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival classic this week.
A late entry at a cost of $55,000 for the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) in Sydney this weekend, the spruik Tony Vasil-trained Haradasun colt also hasn’t been ruled out of a Melbourne bid aiming at the coveted $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.
Lightly raced with just three starts under their belt so far, the smart three-year-old won their opening two runs during the winter including a juvenile handicap at Moonee Valley carrying 58kg.
They resumed at Caulfield on August 31 and were beaten only by bad luck and poor race tactics.
Jockey Steven Arnold opted to take them out wide in the Group 3 HDF McNeil Stakes (1200m) after suffering multiple bouts of interference primarily from eventual fourth placegetter Miracles Of Life and her jockey Lauren Stojakovic.
Eventually they found the line two lengths away second behind the David Hayes-trained Fast ‘N’ Rocking who is the $5.50 second favourite for the Golden Rose 2013 on Saturday.
Luckless last start the bookies and punters look willing to forgive Prince Harada, who will be ridden by Hugh Bowman this weekend, their McNeil Stakes defeat and have them installed as the $4.40 top fancy in Golden Rose betting.
As for the Caulfield Cup next month they are paying a far more generous $34 to score an upset with markets co lead by four-year-olds Hawkspur and Super Cool at $10.
Super Cool has a chance to trump the Chris Waller-trained Queensland Derby champ Hawkspur, who resumed with a good win in the Chelmsford Stakes over the mile at Randwick last Saturday, for top spot when the Mark Kavanagh-trained Australian Cup winner runs in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
While the record of three-year-olds in the Caulfield Cup isn’t exactly encouraging, it also isn’t disastrous says Vasil.
Still, none have contested the race in nearly 25 years and Vasil believes they could be the first to run since Dr Grace finished a respectable fifth behind Cole Diesel back in 1989.
“Historically it’s not normal for three-year-olds to run in the Caulfield Cup, but they have won them,” he told Racing Victoria this week.
Caulfield Cup weights were released earlier in the week with Prince Harada currently allocated just 49kg.
He’s also a first acceptor for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) which runs at Moonee Valley on October 26.
“He’s paid up for the Cox Plate, too. When you’ve got a good horse you keep all options open and make decisions along the way,” Vasil said.
“Until we get a bit more clarity on him we’ve got to keep all options open. We’ll watch the Caulfield Guineas and analyse it after that.”
Prince Harada pays $26 in the current markets for the weight-for-age Cox Plate.
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